She’ll never admit it, but Moira Shannon’s contribution to her local community is astonishing.
The unassuming yet tenacious Lincoln Grove Retirement Village resident spent over six decades fighting the odds to improve the lives of the marginalised and needy in Port Lincoln, earning a number of well-deserved awards along the way.
Since first being involved with founding the Befriender’s Club, helping the housebound, and then playing a major part in setting up the first Alcoholics Anonymous in the town, Moira has continued to find ways to help those in need.
“In 1978 I was having a lot of contact with women and children experiencing domestic violence, so I started a women’s shelter,” she said.
“It wasn’t easy and I faced a lot of criticism from within the community, but many people supported me too.”
Not stopping there, Moira went on to found a youth shelter and ADAM House – a place where children with disabilities can receive care.
“That was one of the best things I ever did, because children like that were being sent out of the community to be housed,” she said.
As Moira’s efforts expanded, recognition followed.
She received the Tunarama Citizen of the Year Award in 1984, the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1993, the South Australian Senior of the Year Award in 2000, the Member of the Order of Australia in 2007, and the Zonta Club’s Women of Achievement Award in 2009.
After moving to Lincoln Grove in 2007 to enjoy a well-earned rest with her husband Tom, Moira could be forgiven for feeling pretty proud of herself.
Her unwavering humility ensures she won’t view her achievements as anything special, however.
“I think I’ve made something of a mark,” she concedes.
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